Monday, January 9, 2017

The Proper Theology Of Tefilla

 לזכות עדינה בת שבע בת נעכא גיטל לבריאות השלימה

"אמרי האזינה השם בינה הגיגי" [תהילים ה-ב]

"Give ear to my words, Hashem; consider my meditation."

We are very fortunate that Hashem listens to our tefillos. The idolators pray but they make the fatal mistake of הגשמה – ascribing physical, human attributes to the Creator. They believe that when they pray, it causes Hashem to change his mind. This is horrible heresy. The pasuk cries אני ה' לא שיניתי. Hashem doesn't change. So their prayers are abominable.

In contrast, we daven with the understanding that Hashem never changes. When Hashem created the world, He established that His truest will is consistent with the desires of the Jewish people. So our will – רצון התחתון – mirrors Hashem's will – רצון העליון. Our will comes from the עלמא דיחודא – the world of unity, where there is no change and everything is a reflection of the will of Hashem. The desires of the idolaters comes from the עלמא דפירודא – the world of separation, where this world and one's desires are separate from Hashem, chas vi-shalom. 

The pasuk says מסיר אזנו משמוע תורתו גם תפילתו תועבה. If one avoids hearing Torah [literally "removes his ears"], his tefilla is also an abomination.

Why? Just because he doesn't learn, why should that necessitate that his tefilla is blemished??

The answer is profound. The Torah existed before the world came into being. When we daven, we are trying to connect our will – רצון התחתון  - to the will of Hashem as explicated in the Torah – רצון העליון. If one is not tapped into the Torah then his requests will be from the עלמא דפירודא – the world of disunity. That means that he will ask for things that Hashem doesn't want to give him [because they are not in accordance with the will of the Torah] which would necessitate a change in the Divine will. THEREIN LIES THE ABOMINATION.

So it is not a simple matter of not learning which makes one's tefillos abominable but the fact that a non-learners prayers will be an appeal to change in the Divine will. THAT is an abomination.


So now we understand the pasuk אמרי האזינה השם בינה הגיגי – Hashem listen to my words, look into my thoughts. As Jews, we are worthy of Hashem answering our tefillos because they reflect what Hashem Himself really wants for us. 

Bi-lashon Rabbeinu: